Friday, November 06, 2009

When Letting Go is Beautiful

I am not a person who lets go of things easily. It's something I work on... constantly.

For example, until last spring, I had every cancelled check I'd ever written. Every single one since 1982! That's a whole lotta checks by the way. I simply could never get rid of them. When my realtor held an event for his clients that involved a large professional shredding truck, I decided the time had come to part with the majority of my checks. I ended up taking 4 filing boxes full of paper (and checks) to the event. I must admit, there was a feeling of freedom that came with shredding all those checks and old papers. I felt lighter.

Still, it was not an easy decision for me to make or action for me to take.

Just this morning, I found out that a paper I've been using in my business for quite some time, is no longer available. It is a beautiful white paper with silver sparkles embedded in it. I have had notepads made of this paper. It's been like a 'signature paper' for me since I started my company in 2000. Now, it's gone. I feel saddened by the news. In addition to it being emotional for me, it's also inconvenient. I needed some card stock in this design to finish up a project I'm working on. Now, I have to find an alternative. Another reminder that life is constant change, and yes... constant processes of 'letting go.'

Yesterday, I had an example of a different way of relating to the process of letting go. As I was driving in to town, I experienced one of my favorite happenings at this time of year. The highway I drive on is lined with trees on both sides for most of my drive to town. It was cloudy, but not raining. The wind was blowing fairly hard.

Four or five times along my path, I drove through showers of beautiful leaves of gold, yellow, orange and red that were falling from the trees. It was like driving through confetti!

You simply can't feel sad when you drive through showers of leaves coming down. It instantly lifted my spirits.

The trees are releasing their leaves as they move into the winter season... and it is beautiful. Sometimes letting go can, indeed, be beautiful. It is us humans who cling and struggle to hang on to things.

It can be something simple, like me with my checks, or my pretty paper, or it can be more complex, like trying to hang on to relationships that no longer serve us in a positive, constructive fashion, clinging to self destructive habits or addictions, trying to keep our children from growing up and away from us or any myriad of things.

I personally am challenging my need to cling and hold on. I want to be more like the trees who turn letting go into a beautiful, inspiring process. They prove it's possible. I want to embrace their example of letting go, moving on and growing in a natural, fluid process - free from struggle and resistance. I feel better just typing that!

Let go... beautifully.